Friday, June 30

和 - Harmony - Basis of Anything Japanese

I am just out of a cross cultural training. Basically it was a discussion. My take from the discussion was one kanji 和-wa. This Kanji represents Japan and anything Japanese. Like 和食(washoku - Japanese cuisine) 和服(wafuku - Japanese attire) etc. The meaning of this kanji is harmony. And that is the basis of anything Japanese.

When doing business, there is a harmony that you should create. That is your buildup time when you will be meeting customers, sharing good time and still get no business. If you set this up, business can flow on that. As long as you maintain that harmony. They will also maintain. So even you fail one project, they will come back. As long as you did not "disrupt the harmony". You can make error - but accept and apologise properly.

This is true in a meeting too. You present a new idea and you expect feedbacks. You get only staring faces. Or sleeping ones. Or in between. No dynamic lips at all. Why? There is no harmony to talk. If you want a discussion to happen, you should have sent this out earlier, had enough of background meetings etc. Or, you should have had that relation that keeps discussions flowing.

Now someone is talking about something. You are not expected to say a blunt NO. Why? Thats against the harmony of the meeting - of the group. Make a round about suggestion that you probably dont think it is correct. Or talk after the meeting. Thats so common. Post meeting and side meeting discussions. Where information flow will happen. The formal meetings are only meant for sustaining the harmony.

Well, this I guess is true about India too. We all love harmony. Job security. Morning and evening tea has no alternatives. Though we are getting bastardised with the American corporate thinking of late. We are now being told to say NO when we do not agree. The Boss is not always right; tell him on the face etcetera. I am not saying which is right and which is wrong. But I guess we Indians still love harmony at heart. We feel hurt otherwise.

May people think Japan is inefficient because of the round and round discussions and the delay in taking decisions. I would say this is a short sighted view. Harmony is in fact the most efficient system, right? What we call Impedance matching in electrical world. Thats where the whole system becomes efficient. When Japanese talk, the system is something that cuts across so many years in lenagth and so many people in width.

For all people leaders too, I guess we have to learn this harmony and the art of building and maintaining harmony. Unless we are sure that the entire team is okay with the American style of working. If all are American, then that system may be efficient too.

Thursday, June 29

Politeness, Poverty and Society behaviours

A long and tiring mail debate on the topic on ddg mailing list. Though it kept the list very active, I dont think the discussions were any productive towards the end. And may be so many would not like entering more discussions. Just a rise in mails per day, not senders per day.

It all started with Anne or Anu forwarding an article about "10 things I hate about India". I did not read the article. Like many such fwded mails. But I did read all the mails. Anne complaining about giving foreigners priority in airports - which she is not getting in London. Whether it is happening in London or Newyork, I would support any preference given to foreigners. Do not assume a color of skin when I say foreigner. Treat guests with respect. Give them priority. Let him be from Japan. Let him be from Niger.

Anu complaining about the impolite attitude of the immigration officer when she flies off from Bombay - saying a short bye to the homeland. I would agree with Jojans point that the impolite behaviour whatever seen in sections of the society is the result of the grooming of the society in general and not the fault of the individual per se. What I do not agree is his suggestions that those who complain are the ones who cannot or do not see the real problems of the society.

>>I cannot forget their (immigration officers) rude face and they would not even look
>> at our face while stamping passports.

But generally the most rudest looking people are Keralites. The first thing I noticed after coming to Chennai is that the people are very much polite, compared to Kerala.

But does it mean, Keralites are not friendly?

It is really bad that, some people, blinded by the glittering, artificial politeness and sophistication of developed countries, commenting bad about their own people.

You have to see the facts. Considering the daily income of an average indian and the competition he faces to earn his daily bread, politeness is secondary. These software professionals, they don't
have time to worry about the worries of the common man. They worry about the condition of Bombay air port, worry about entrance fee at Taj!!!

This the real problem of India.
One has the right to demand a decent behaviour. Has the right to complain about impoliteness. Accept errors. Do not defend. Do not blame the society for individual errors. If you wait for the society to be well positioned in affluences to improve your morals, I would guess it will never happen. pathu kittiyaal nooru mathiyennum nooru kittukil sahasramennum..

I just signed off the debate. I dont think it is going anywhere than kind of fighting each other.

Monday, June 26

Back into normal life

Umma and Uppa went back on Saturday. Saturday night stay at Colombo and to Madras on Sunday. Sunday night at Madras and train to Payangadi on Monday evening. Tuesday, God Willing, they will mark the end of the two months journey.

Seeing them off was sad. On one side the two months went off quicky. On another side, it appears as if they were always with us. She was feeling too sad. I am anyway in office the whole day and she only involved so much. Irene also waived a nice bye but was wiping off her tears later. Poor thing. Why does she try to hide so much and keep a smiling face. It really hurts her I am sure.

Didnt feel like heading straight back home after leaving Narita. So went to Jagat and Fathir at Hightown on the way. Did some shopping too. Reached home only late evening. Sunday was farewell for Sanjeev at Balas. Had a heavy northie veg lunch.

A lazy week to start off in office.

At home too, I am sure she feels the same. All all alone once again..... though kids are around with laughter, cries, fights, affection etc.

Tuesday, June 20

Clogging too

I decided to spend some time analysing technology moves. Not in a big way. A small step. What I see and what I feel of them. The interesting new thinkings and ideas. It might be good to see later how some of them really came up well and how some of them faced a spectacular failure.

From this week I re-started blogging in my technology blog - Honorified Glories

I think I will try weekly once. Not to drain off too quickly. And to keep a system for me to think something tech too. Call it clogging?

Monday, June 19

Did it!

With Mina Misa and family

At Shin Hamamatsu station

The great lunch!
Did it!

A splendid trip. The ride on the cute toy-like enshu entetsu was truly great. Flashing back by 8 years. The train has not changed. There is now a new IC card system for tickets. Like JR Suica. Normal tickets as usual. No ticket gates at all. In intemediate stations, the train conductor gets down on the platform to collect back the tickets. Dai ichi dori.. hikuma.. kamijima.. jidosha gakko mae .. kobayashi.. nishikajima... the ride through these stations is what Umma liked more than the costly bullet train!

Misa has now a new house next to Minas. The inaka beauty. Hamakita-shi has now merged into Hamamatsu shi. So they are all part of Hamamatsu shi now. Since it was raining, could not much enjoy outdoors. Just a lunch and back.

Just a lunch? No way. What a splendid table it was. All kinds of food. Sashimis, chicken, vegetables, natto (though I cannot bear that). Ayu is as gentle as always. Noe must be grown now - could not meet as she was busy playing volleyball in school. Minas walls, which earlier used to hang all youchien drawings of Ayu and Noe are now decorated with beautiful art works by Noe. Paitings and sketches. Ayu is content with her violin skills. And apparently busy preparing for Uty. She is now 15!

Miwa and Mayu was there for a short while and then left for Mayus swimming classes. Nobuo san and Hiroto were at baseball, though they came back before we left.

Eisuke was in limelight though he booted up late being hasukashi..

Friday, June 16

Hamamatsu again

Planning a Hamamatsu trip again. With Umma and Uppa. Thanks Anoop for the suggestion.

For Umma and Uppa this will be a first. First time ride on a bullet train. First time visit to a Japanese house. First time in a real inaka. The beauty, the charm, the tranquility of nature and people.

For me its a recollection. Of my second day in Japan. When we boarded (were herded) onto the Bullet train to Hamamatsu. With no hint of what is Japan. The days at the hotel in Hamamatsu, when we only knew how to buy bendo at Daily Store, queueu up to pay and ignore whatever she used to say when we leave the store.

It will be a recollection of the days we lived in Kamijima, the silent weekend evenings that I used to spent along the tenryu river side watching people enjoy fishing. The short visits to the jinja and the second hand book store, where I could buy the Story of a Nation - incredible, must read, history of Japan.

Of those days when Mina, Misa and family gave us the best comforts in Japan. Which made us Japan lovers. Japanese foods, Japanese festivals, Hamanko lake park... My Blog would come to a full circle when I sneak through the pale curtains that years have added into my memories. When I peak through the real life that has been framed in this blog as the earliest entry. Copy paste entry from my earlier geocities web page, when the concept called blog did not exist. I remember what I wanted that time was exactly a blog. I wanted people to comment and get these into a discussion.

We have been there once again - with family. When Irene got the new Japanese name - Ai-chan. Credits Ayu. And my God, I cannot remember, how I mis-trusted Credit cards and ATM cards during December vacations in Japan!

Tomorrow, God Willing, we will have a short replay.

Wednesday, June 14

Not so bad!

Well, the week was not so bad so far

Market keeps on driving TXN south. Already crossed my limits. So nothing matters.

gmail was not bad too. oldies mail failed to pickup. sad to realise all my class fellows are getting old:) not much worried to care for some old folks that they lived together. some forgot those good days. and some still remember those little old scores that survived the long years. anyway Kala is on target to have the great 20 year meet.

well, gmail was not bad. the ddg mailing list anoop created is in full swing. reminds of the good old career days at NeST.

finally was able to take a day off yday. took umma and uppa to Tokyo Subway Museum. good for Uppa to know how the construction happens. great view of the Tokyo land cross section and see all the train lines beneath. best was the train engine simulator. you can drive the train from one station to next. real view on screen in front. simulated shocks and movements in the engine. and for kids, the small seated simulations. they too enjoyed.

now for the second half of the week

Monday, June 12

A weaker week ahead?

Monday morning in office.

Booted machine up. In an attempt to boot another week up.

Routine. Type Outlook in Google deskbar. Select exe and enter. Then type firefox. Again select exe and enter. Wait.

Firefox comes up with the Google personalised page. The page that is set to show all good things in one view. But it does not always. Like today.

Stock Watch - TXN drives further south .

Gmail - No new mail. That means Saturday went off with no mail from Bijukumar as promised. And Remi never promised. And may be none in the group excited to find these two new souls back.

Positive event - GV had called up sometime around midnight yday. He just wanted to know what time it is in Tokyo:)

Good or not - I am calling off customer meeting planned today because of inflammation that makes me limp

Sunday, June 11

Nice trip today

Its almost two months since Umma and Uppa came. But it was only yesterday that we had a planned nice trip around Tokyo.

Not much. But good. Oedo line platform in Azabujuban itself is an attaction. The depth till B6. Then to Asakusa. The line of traditional shops that reminds Shivarathri shops. Then the lucky view of a couple getting married.

From there cruised to Odaiba. At Odaiba, planned to visit Panasonic center, skipping all those theme malls and stuff. Unfortunately Panasonic center is having maintanance holidays. Took a long break at the promonades of Ariake and returned. A short, but good trip it was. Not much tiring too.

Thursday, June 8

Victims of a Judicial System

While at college, once we were victims of a theft. Some poor guy might have thought that Engg students will have a lot of assets in their lodge rooms? I lost a small radio and some coins. My room mate lost a lot of audio casettes - Mukesh and Rafi stuff. And a dhoti - may be he used it to wrap the items. We did report at the police station. No followups. We lost only this much. Why to lose more time and get into more difficulties with the police system?

Best bakery case is not much different either. The victims - they lost their near and dear. Real people. And in front of them. No one would ever think of not following up. So not to blame Zaheera and co. But probably through the course of the honorable proceedings of the judicial system, they would have realised the hard truth. What the Judicial System calls Justice is not the nown thats found in the English dictionary. This is only a designation in the court rules. Lost everything, better not to lose much time and start living. And if Modi offered money, accepting it makes sense than to go to court every day. Rational, if not just.

Suddenly the Indian judicial system has come out of sleep. You can have fun with people's lives, but not with the courts. In a turn of a day, Zaheera is now an accused. The court is now behind her.

And the original accused? Anyway victim is not complainant anymore? Who worries about that?

This is a new case between the court and a lady called Zaheera. Court won - they have declared victory by themselves.

May be I am disrespecting the Judicial system? Respect is something which good actions would bring in naturally. Not something which power can command. Unfortunately courts are now becoming the old monarchs who demanded that people respect them.

panamullor nirmicha neethikkithilonnum
parayuvaanille ..... nhaan pinvalichu

Monday, June 5

Lost and Found

It was a surprise to get a mail from Remi. Though I knew its on the way as Saina told me she has given Remi my id.

It was indeed nice talking to her, though it was sad to listen to her Katrina experiences. It was the first time I talk to a first hand victim of a natural calamity. Probably she was one of the most lucky ones. When she left the place as usual listening to warning, she did not know how big its gonna be. Good. Agonies delayed. And stress reduced.

What she lost? Well, a car, a house, whatever they had done to make the house look more beatiful and homely, all items that were in it for the basic life and the ones added later for that extra comfort. Much lost in the running waters. And much went to the hands of those who were fishing in those troubled waters.

As she says what she misses is not the big items that were immobile and were difficult to move. Things that dont move are generally less personally attached? For her it was those lovely memories in color print that she misses a lot. And for sure those colorful dreams of the house that she had cared so lovely I suppose. For a home is a home and will be a home. A home of dreams. Of love. Of thoughts and worries and hopes.

Is man travelling back to those old tribal days? The mobile home. Ready to pack and go. Storm, move ahead. Floods, move ahead. Famine, move ahead. There were no titles and deeds when land was in plenty. Now the deeds are for those dreams painted in sky. Like my fifth floor dream home coming up in Brigade Metropolis in Bangalore. The higher the dream is, more costly it becomes. So I settled for Fifth floor. Cannot understand the logic. Pay more to move away from "Ground Realty"?

Anyway, God save us.

Thursday, June 1

Sadia chan

She was one lovely child in the mosque. The pure Japanese girl. Which made her a good Muslim child. Silent. Respecting and respectable. Very attentive. Smart.

The very sight of her made me feel so sorry last week. I was at the Mega 100 yen store when I spotted her with someone. She just bowed as she used to, and then walked away.

Dont know whom to blame. Her mom or her father. Anyway they are now separated. And I heard she had to drop off school etc. She and her mom have now stopped coming to mosque. Well, what did they get? For whatever reason, Sadia chan did not get justice at all. She failed in getting the basic humanity from the very people who vows to keep Humanity First. The male chauvisntic people put blame on her Mom. And the male chavisntic females who could not find fault in her Mom just made sure they dont see a fault in her dad too.

Still no one cared for Sadia chan.

When there is a failure, someone is at fault. Just imagine it was your kid, and now think. A beautiful budding rose will not fall down unless someone plucked it.

Problem now is simple. Her father remarried and her mom did not agree. That became a big fight and they separated.

Well, if he had issues with his wife in marriage, did he try to solve? And if failed, why did he not divorce first and then remarry?

When she created issues, he is ready for divorce. Does that mean he was ready for divorce earlier too but found no reason? So he created an issue with a second marriage?

If he really had no issues in the first marriage but wanted the second marriage for whatever reason, why did he not take time in convincing her at least?

Who was her "guardian" in her marriage and what role did that guy take to protect her interests?

I have many questions, as usual. But no one is there for me to ask these...

I just pray for Sadia chan.

With Khalifa V

A day that was in dream for a long time. Khalifatul Masih comes to Japan, my parents come to Japan and we had a meeting with him. And this photo session. It was so natural and felt like we knew well and he talked so friendly too.

Irene could not read out her "Surah Al Fatiha for Children" in the later Children's class. She could just sit in the class. Ian, I dont think he bothered!

There was one more official meeting later where I saw a strict Khalifa putting his foot down very strongly - and still smiling and saying stories.